So you Want to Do VO? - Part 5: Gaining Experience

Welcome to part 5 of this ongoing tutorial about how to get started in the VO business.

The last couple of posts talked about getting some basic recording equipment and setting up your recording environment to be as quiet as possible. The next step is where you start actually recording voiceovers.

DISCLAIMER:  There are many ways to get into this business and this may or may not be the easiest, best, or most profitable way. It's simply the way that I did it and, right or wrong, it's worked pretty well for me so far.

Get some experience
Here's what to do next:

Become a member of these two websites:

Voice Acting Club
Voice Acting Alliance

These two forums are filled with people doing fan films, or short animated projects.  Read the rules and suggestions in each forum and become a member of their communities. There are daily "jobs" posted that voice artists can audition for. Rarely are you ever going to find paid work, but it's a great opportunity to get some experience. And right now, you need to learn about how to interact with people while you test out and fine tune your recording, editing and distributing skills.


Check out Reddit.
If you're coming from Reddit to read this, you already know about this. For everyone else, here are two great subreddits I would suggest:

/r/voiceacting - is a good community of "voice actors, wannabe voice actors, and voice actor enthusiasts"  Sometimes you will find people looking for voice actors for specific parts, so it's another good way to gain some experience. There is always good information being posted.

/r/recordthis - is another subreddit that you can gain some great experience in. Every month the moderator posts "airchecks" - sample scripts that you can record, post on soundcloud, then share the link in the subreddit, where others can comment on your recordings. This sounds a little intimidating at first, but honestly, the members of this group are some of the nicest, generous, and kindest people I've ever seen on the internet. There are no harsh, snarky criticisms and no trolls. Only people just like you who are trying to get into the business and develop their own skills. It's a great resource. Feedback on your work is an important part of the learning process. Think of this as free coaching.

Once you've done a few gigs for the people in the above forums, you will have a basic understanding of how all of this works and you can decide if you're ready to start making money.

TIP:
A good way to think of this is like the minor leagues. Not to say that there is anything wrong with the minor leagues. It is a very important step. How you perform here, how you communicate and how you contribute to the communities will say a lot about who you are as a professional. 
Always treat every job as if its the most important project you've ever worked on. This will speak volumes about you later on. If you treat everything professionally, you might even be able to find some paying work in the process. One of my highest paying clients came from noticing my posts and recordings from Reddit. It can happen.
Once you've gained some experience working with the various communities listed, it's time to graduate to the next step.

In the next post, I'll talk about the most important tool you need to have in your voiceover toolbox.



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About Rob Marley - 
A Los Angeles native, Rob is an accomplished voice talent, producer and writer, now living in the hill country of Austin Texas. For more information, visit his website at MarleyAudio.com